Any­thing goes?

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

Artis­tic merit is, of course, al­most en­tirely in the eye of the be­holder. But what­ever artis­tic claims may be made for My Name Is Rachel Cor­rie, it is above all else a piece of pro­pa­ganda — and a nasty, in­cen­di­ary and deeply mis­lead­ing piece of pro­pa­ganda at that. If the Young Vic was gen­uinely seek­ing to deal with the is­sues sur­round­ing Gaza and the Mid­dle East, it could have ar­ranged a se­ries of events and plays ex­plor­ing the many dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives in a hugely com­pli­cated story. But it clearly has no such in­tent. Rather, it is in the busi­ness of ped­dling and stir­ring up anti-Is­rael hate — putting this play in its sched­ule with no at­tempt at any par­al­lel nar­ra­tive to give even a hint that there may be an­other side to the story. The words of the Young Vic’s artis­tic di­rec­tor, David Lan, are in this con­text dis­turb­ing: “Any­thing that keeps Gaza at the front of our con­scious­ness is to be val­ued.” Any­thing? As a the­atre di­rec­tor, he of all peo­ple should know that words mat­ter — and in this con­text the “any­thing” that some of those in­volved, such as Ha­mas, use to push their view of Gaza can be hor­ren­dous. More than any­thing, the Young Vic is be­tray­ing its au­di­ence, of­fer­ing them un­think­ing ag­it­prop dis­tor­tion rather than rea­soned and nu­anced de­bate.

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